Quick Links & Contacts

ACS

Office of Advocacy
212-676-9421

PYA Goals

EDUCATION

Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

HOUSING

Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services

JOBS

Summer Jobs

SEXUALITY

Morning After Pill info
1-888-NOT-2-LATE

HEALTH

Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Hotline
212-673-3000

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

SPECIAL RESOURCES
Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)

ADVOCACY

Legal
Lawyers for Children
1-800-244-2540

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children
212-947-9779

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project
212-577-3342

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

Life Interrupted: Teens remember their first days in care
image by Freddy Bruce
Life Interrupted:
Teens remember their first days in care

Someone Else's Home

It happened so fast, with no warning. It came and hit me just like that.

My first day in foster care, I was so confused, so lost, I didn't even know what was going on. I only caught a glimpse of my grandmother's downhearted look as we were leaving. I cried as I stood there, dying inside, no knowledge of what lay before me, what my future would be like. All that was happening around me was drowned away by my tears.

Into the Unknown

I was put into a car with my brother and sister, all of our things packed in blue garbage bags. We were taken to a recreation center-type place. It was a nice place, but it sure as hell didn't make up for the fact that I'd just been taken from my family.

After spending the night there, we were again put into a car and driven to an unknown location. My sister was dropped off first. Then we stopped and my brother and I got out of the car.

We were in front of a building that loomed over me like a skyscraper. We went inside and up the stairs, my heart beating like a conga drum. When my social worker knocked at one of the doors, I stepped back.

A New Routine

We were greeted and invited in, into a home I was not familiar with, with people I had never seen before in my life. I was frightened out of my mind. I didn't understand why I had to be here, in this apartment, with these people I did not know.

That night I couldn't sleep. I stayed up most of the night crying and wishing I was with my family again. I reflected on memories that seemed so distant, so long ago.

The next morning was the beginning of an undying routine. I would get home, go to the room and stay there. The only time I'd leave was when my foster mother called me out to eat dinner. She had two other children and we all sat at the dinner table. We all just sat there, silent, rushing to finish so that we could go back to our pre-dinner activities. I always had this lingering feeling of isolation, like I didn't belong with this family.

Eventually I moved on to other homes, where those feelings all came back. All the fear and isolation were more or less the same in every place. . .

[read more]